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Treasure Valley students spreading kindness through 'School Niceness Challenge'

St. Joseph's Catholic School
Posted at 4:13 PM, Oct 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-14 19:00:52-04

BOISE, Idaho — Being nice is the Boise way. The Boise Nice Project is encouraging kids to be thoughtful and kind to one another and their community through the “School Niceness Challenge.”

5th-grade students at St. Joseph's Catholic School know a little something about being nice, after taking the lead in the challenge.

“It's a 10-year project we started last year and the idea of it is really two-fold. One is to inspire people to want to do nice things. It sounds kind of corny but when we first moved here 10 years back, we noticed that people here are just very welcoming and neighborly,” President and Co-Founder Rourke O'Brien said “We had this idea of this niceness challenge, it came out of just a conversation and really what makes it work is these kids. I'm learning so much listening to them.”

Students report “Acts of Niceness” that they do at home, school, or in the community, online in order to earn points.

Brittany O'Brien
One of St. Joseph's 5th-grade teachers, Brittany O'Brien.

“It’s been really nice as a teacher to see the community and our classroom build through this challenge and as a way to bring my students back and to talk to them about, ‘hey we’re in this challenge, are you actually going above and beyond or what’s a way you could handle this situation differently?’” 5th-grade teacher Brittany O’Brien said. “We see that when one student acts kind it just seems to spread throughout our classroom.”

The 5th-grade students at St. Joseph’s have held the lead in the challenge and have been learning ways to spread kindness wherever they go like opening doors for people and picking up trash when they see it.

How the students at St. Joseph's Catholic School are spreading kindness.

St. Joseph's 5th grade students speak on kindness